(click on the title above to listen to the song!)
(This may sound a bit macabre, but) I love Surfer Blood! As freshman, this quartet of students at Florida Atlantic University recorded their first album (Astro Coast) in an off-campus apartment in Boca Raton using Chinese microphones and a cheap Pro Tools rig on an old Hewlett-Packard computer with Windows XP. That honest and somewhat innocent garage rocker-of-an-album gave me two of my favorite indy tracks of 2010… "Swim" and "Floating Vibes." And I've been waiting for something new from the guys ever since.
Now -- with major-label assistance from Warner Brothers Records and veteran producer Gil Norton (Pixies, Echo & the Bunnyman, Foo Fighters) -- Surfer Blood has released a new single called "Demon Dance" which proved definitely worth-the-wait! Sure, they sound a bit more polished, but they still retained their quirky personality and some of that gritty, grungy, garage-rock feel. You'll hear that in the song's heavy-metal middle-eight where lead-vocalist John Paul Pitts screams out a bridge over distorted guitars -- recently reminiscent of Dave Grohl's shouts on "Walk" two years ago. And it all takes place over a contrasting subtle chorus of "ahhh's" that maintain the song's continuity.
Some of the words to "Demon Dance" may sound a bit dark -- "The hounds of hell need love and care, the hounds need organs and limbs to tear" -- but are instead a bit droll and, according to Pitts, inspired by Sherlock Holmes. He explained to Rolling Stone, "The lyrics may seem cryptic compared to the straightforward nature of the song, but the song is about dishonest and cruel people I've encountered against the backdrop of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'." (I especially enjoyed the band's artful glow-in-the-dark doggy reference.)
And -- like Sir Arthur's name -- Pitts' vocals lend a bit of an English feel to Surfer Blood. That's why I have come to the conclusion that "Demon Dance" is the best British-sounding power-punk single not to emanate from Britain.
Although "Demon Dance" was just recently released as a single, you'll have to wait a few more weeks for the official unveiling of that new Surfer Blood album. Pythons will be ready for uploading on June 11th. (Their new music video can be viewed below.)
"Excellent!" I cried. "Elementary," said he.